Our Long Recovery symbolizes the unlearning, the reckoning and the healing that will be necessary as we -- collectively -- work to transition from a linear to a regenerative economy. This work takes place alongside the tangible recovery of the material resources that have become waste.
In August 2019 Kpone Landfill in Ghana caught fire and we happened to be there. Never before has it been more clear that our obsession with convenience, competition and accumulation is making us sick. The Global North has generated an absurd amount of stuff and this excess has disproportionately impacted the Global South.
The members of the Kpone Landfill Waste Pickers Association are cleaning up a mess not of their own making. How will we honor their effort?
Solomon explains the unique challenges posed by managing imported secondhand clothing waste. Can we achieve collective accountability?
Clothing waste from Kantamanto is a nuisance with no value to waste pickers. Will clothing ever be worth recovering?
Too much clothing. Not enough culture.
Too much clothing. Not enough fashion.
Too much clothing. Not enough innovation.
Too much clothing. Not enough ________
Too often a consumer. So rarely a human.
Too often a consumer. So rarely a citizen.
Too often a consumer. So rarely a neighbor.
Too often a consumer. So rarely a _______
We have failed to prioritize that which makes us human. We have buried our potential under a pile of stuff. That stuff has become rubbish. That rubbish is staring back at us and we are realizing that we have rendered ourselves disposable.
The Dead White Man’s Clothes Project offers a visible diagnosis of our disposability. By tracking the waste generated by the secondhand clothing economy in Accra, Ghana we have proven that there is no market capable of absorbing the excess of our modern lifestyle.
As artifacts of our lives, waste makes visible our values, behaviors and priorities. We have tried to buy our way out of our insecurities, but when these material things fail to make us whole we toss them aside. We create physical byproducts of every relationship by expressing love through the exchange of objects instead of through the spending of time. We aid one another by donating our excess things instead of fighting against the causes of this imbalance.
We must recover from these ideas and re-discover our potential to connect, to overcome, to commune, to love, to understand, to cooperate, to _____
It Is Time To Recover.
We will be using this space to document our recovery efforts. We will continue to explore waste management infrastructure in the USA and in Ghana and will share stories of those who are most impacted by our disposable culture.
You Are Invited.